Rodents

Rodents are small, furry creatures, with most weighing in at less than three pounds. Because they are relatively easy to care for and their small size, they are ideal as pets for many families. Our rodents section enables you to review miscellaneous rodents and even the "Best rodent pets".

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1428 days ago

Well, first off I will say that ferrets are not actually rodents so they probably shouldn't be reviewed based on how they compare to other rodents as pets. (infinitely better than any rodent so it wouldn't be fair to the actual rodents).

I am going to separate information regarding ferrets as pets into different sections, each of which will have a title that will tell you what each section focuses on.

"Playtime and socialization"
If you are considering getting a ferret as a pet there are a couple of things that you have to take into account. The first thing that you should take into consideration is that ferrets need to be allowed out of their cage to for at least 6 (supervised) hours per day. This means that every single day you must be able to have a responsible member of your household supervise the ferrets during their 6 hours of play time. During this play time it is important to interact with the ferret(s) so that they will have a chance to bond with you. Interaction can be as simple sitting on the ground in the area that they are playing and giving them attention. Ferrets are rather social animals so it is important give them the attention that they need or else they can become depressed. An alternative to having to spend as much hands on time with your pet ferret is to buy 2 ferrets instead of 1. Honestly I think that it is better to have 2 ferrets instead of 1 even if you do plan on giving them plenty of hands on attention because they enjoy having a friend to cuddle with when they sleep as well as a friend that they can rough house with. Ferrets also get along well with cats and dogs if they are raised together from a young age, but there is still a risk to your ferrets safety if the dog is of a breed typically used for hunting small animals. Another important thing for potential ferret owners to keep in mind is that ferrets are naturally curious and incredibly intelligent when it comes to problem solving AKA escape artists. Basically this means that you must ferret proof your entire house before bringing your pet ferret(s). Ferret proofing is not really hard, but it can be time consuming because you have to be very careful to check every single inch of your house for anything that could harm a ferret(s), while keeping in mind that a ferret can fit into any space that is at least the size of it's head. If there is even a single hole a ferret will find it. Time out of their cage and socialization with humans is important for both the mood and behavior of your ferret(s). Ferrets that are not socialized will get very depressed which will significantly shorten their life span and they will also act aggressively towards humans when they are eventually handled because they want to play and haven't learned what is acceptable play etiquette. Ferrets naturally have much thicker skins than humans so when they play they play rough which is just another reason that having a second ferret a fantastic idea. When you watch 2 ferrets play with each other it will seem like they are hurting each other, but they are just having fun unless you hear them hissing or screaming. (ferret sounds explained later)

I know that so far my description of ferrets makes them seem like they are a lot of work and you're probably confused as to why i have given them 5 stars, but I have only just begun to explain the intricacies of ferrets. I assure you that if you keep reading you will love them by the time you finish the article.

"Diet"
The second thing that is crucial to know about owning ferrets as pets is that they are obligate carnivores. This is only one of the major difference between ferrets and rodents that makes differentiating between the two very important. This means that their bodies require meat in their diet to survive, and due to this fact eating certain foods can easily have a huge impact on their health or even be fatal. Ferrets may be fed anything from ferret food to raw meat, but be careful when picking a ferret food. When searching for a good ferret food it is important to check the ingredients listed in the package to make sure of a few things. The first question to ask yourself while checking the ingredients is "What are the first few ingredients listed?" If the answer to that is anything other than meat or animal protein of some kind then you can instantly put that brand of food down because it is not particularly good for your future ferret. The second thing you need to check for on the package is the the percentage of crude animal protein. A good ferret food will have at least 30% crude protein that is highly digestible for them. To determine if the crude protein in the food you are looking at will be easily digested take a look back at the ingredients and make sure that the majority of the ingredients containing proteins come from meat and not corn. The next thing to check for is the crude fat percentage. If your ferret(s) are very young and still growing or if they are lactating then this percentage should be around 30%-40%, but if they are of mature age (4 months or older) and not lactating then the percentage only needs to be at least 15%. That covers it for the things that your ferret food needs to contain, but now I will tell you what ferret foods should contain very little of. First on this list we have fiber which is not digestible to ferrets so the food you pick should contain less than 4% fiber. The second thing to worry about having too much of is ash. Ash is what's left when the food is completely burned and the food you choose should contain less than 7% ash to prevent health issues. Boring stuff, I know, but now let's get to the fun stuff! Now it's time to talk about treats that are healthy for you to give your ferrets to positively reinforce good habits or just because they are cute and you love them. I might have lied about how exciting their treats are because they should fit roughly into the same mold as their base food. Specifically avoid things that are high in carbohydrates/sugars and also avoid dairy products because they can cause your ferret to become sick and die of dehydration.

I know what you're thinking. "This isn't a review on ferrets. It's a step by step guide on how to take care of them." So far you're pretty much right, but all of these things are important to know before considering the purchase of a ferret.

"Hygiene, cage upkeep, and odor"
Okay! Here is the subject that everyone seems to be most concerned about. The number 1 reason i hear people use for why they don't want ferrets is because they smell terrible. Ferrets do indeed have a natural musk, (just like every other mammal including humans) but the smell isn't overpowering by any means. It is actually very easy to keep the "ferret smell" under control if you keep their cage clean and empty their litter box regularly(yes i said litter box! they can be easily litter trained!) As for bathing ferrets only need to be bathed about once every 6 months. Similar to cats ferrets clean themselves, also giving baths too often will dry out their skin and make them very itchy. Temperature is also very important for maintaining a healthy ferret. Ferrets can die if they are exposed to any heats 80 degrees fahrenheit or higher, especially in the winter time when they grow their winter coats. This is because ferrets do not have the ability to cool themselves by sweating or panting like most animals. Personally I never let my house even get to 70 degrees just to be sure that my ferrets are as comfortable and happy as possible.

"Sounds and what they each mean"
Ferrets are not very vocal creatures. Ferrets really only make 3 noises: hissing, screaming, and dooking.

Hissing- This is pretty easy to recognize it sounds very similar to a cat hissing. Ferrets hiss when they are hurt or afraid. Hissing will usually be accompanied the hair on their both getting really fluffy, especially their tails. They do this to make themselves look bigger and more intimidating to whatever they feel is threatening them.

Screaming- This isn't as terrifying as its name makes it seem, but it is not something that you want to hear. Ferrets scream when they are either in pain or submitting during a fight. It's basically their way of saying "I've had enough." and tapping out. Usually if this happens during a fight with another ferret then the other ferret will accept their victory and let the defeated or hurt ferret go. If you hear a scream always locate your ferret(s) to make sure that they are okay. If the ferret that has been deemed victor of the fight does not let go of the other ferret causing it to scream more than once then you should separate the ferrets carefully to prevent any or further injuries that have already or would, in the future, occur.

Dooking- Dooking is a fun ferret sound. It is a little hard to explain but it sounds sort of like a squirrel chittering. Ferrets make the dooking sound for a couple of reasons which you will be able to determine by their body language. Ferrets dook mostly when they dance, yes, I said dance. The 2 dances that you can look for are their "joy dance" and their "war dance". During their joy dance the ferrets will hop around like they have gone completely insane while making the dooking sound. This means that they are excited and want to play. During their war dance the ferrets will do the exact same thing as the joy dance, except they will be all puffed out to look intimidating, this means that they want to fight.

"Ferrets are amazing animals as pets for so many reasons"
Now we get to my favorite part, telling you why I think that ferrets are such amazing creatures and why they make fantastic pets. It's hard to even decide where to begin describing how awesome ferrets so i will just start with my favorite thing about them. Ferrets are extremely intelligent when it comes to problem solving. Their natural curiosity tests their problem solving skills almost constantly which only makes them more and more clever with each problem that they solve. Ferrets love to explore new things and play with new toys consistently. It's always a thrill to watch them discover something that they have never seen before, it truly brings joy to my heart to see them so excited just to have had a new experience. My second favorite thing about ferrets is how absolutely adorable they are. Literally everything they do is cute from the time they are asleep, to when they wake up, all the way back until they are tired again. Third on my ferrets are awesome list is the fact that ferrets can be trained just like a dog could be trained. They can sit, lay down, roll over, stand up on their hind legs, and so so much more. Ferrets also understand both verbal and visual commands so if you train them well they can be great for showing off to all of your friends. Last, but not least ferrets, like any good pet, will love and trust you if you treat them well and give them a good life. That feeling alone is worth all of the difficulties involved in owning a ferret.

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1872 days ago

They Scamper!!

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2340 days ago

Heard of The Plague? Rats need to stay in sewers.

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2340 days ago

Annoying and they poop WHEREVER THEY WISH! Stinky!

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2510 days ago

I've never had one, but I here there is some sort of story with them and Richard Gere...

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2510 days ago

Rats will always get a bad rep but domestic pet rats from a pet store (not out in the wild or in the streets) are not as disgusting.

http://archiculturefilm.com/director/wp-content/uploads/2008/03/rat-sitting-on-his-laurels.jpg

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2511 days ago

Great with some sour cream and... wait, wrong list.

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2511 days ago

I kinda like my Flying Hamster of Doom...

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2511 days ago

Eh, my ex had ferrets. Both were high maintenance.

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2511 days ago

I am cannot stand mice that are in the wild...but if they are raised as pets they aren't too bad. My brother used to have a couple pet mice and he would sell the babies to the pet store. I was in Jr. High and was playing with them one night and I didn't secure the lid properly...lets just say my cat had a wonderful feast that night. After all that, we decided that we wouldn't be keeping them anymore...

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